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While going to a dentist often involves a check-up for cavities or advice about how to better keep teeth white, there are a number of other ailments that can be diagnosed by a dentist that if caught early can be treatable.
The teeth can often hold clues as to other problems in the body including oral cancer or heart disease that a dentist may be able to recognize and advise a patient to seek further help.
The list of diseases or conditions that could possibly be detected by a dentist are: oral cancer, heart disease, pancreatic cancer, type II diabetes, kidney disease, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), osteoporosis, leukemia, high stress levels, sleep apnea and bulimia.
Oral cancer can often be spotted by locating small white spots on the gums and is a very preventable disease if caught early. Oral cancer has also been linked to pancreatic cancer according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as men with periodontal disease were found to have a 63 percent higher chance of contracting pancreatic cancer.
A strong indicator of heart disease is pericoronitis, which is an infection around the third molar and is linked to root remnants, where teeth decay to just a small piece of the root remains.
Other symptoms for certain conditions are bad breath, tooth sensitivity and bad tastes in the mouth that if brought to the attention of a dentist could be treated early.
According to Dr. Joseph Kravitz, who along with Dr. Eric K. Morrison, runs the Center for Dental Health in Washington, D.C., said: "Often, it's your dentist who's the first on the case diagnosing medical problems, all because of what we discover in your mouth."
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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